By Jacci Howard Bear, Ellicottville Times newspaper
Chelsea Ellis '12, daughter of Cindy Ellis of Great Valley, and granddaughter of Marlene and Emil Hellwig of Ellicottville, will participate in the Adventures in Missions (AIM) World Race program taking her to 11 countries on five continents in 11 months.
Ellis said, “God has called me to serve as a missionary through this organization.” Through adventures, ministry, community and self-discovery, World Racers develop broken hearts, which propel their hands to act for God’s kingdom around the globe.
A graduate of Houghton College Chelsea will begin studies for her master’s degree in Art Therapy at Nazareth College this fall. Starting January, the college has granted her a year off to pursue this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Many of Ellis’ experiences may be used to fulfill college credits.
She and her group will serve in partnership with churches and ministries in local communities to preach the Gospel, plant churches, work in orphanages and minister to women and children who are trapped in prostitution as a result of human trafficking. They will help build churches and schools, teach English and do street ministry. Since 2006, 200 Racers have participated in the Race every July, September and January. The whole trip costs $15,500, including airfare, land transportation, food and shelter.
A training camp will be held in Georgia in October where 150 volunteers ages 21-35 will travel together in groups of seven. Each group is made up of individuals specifically chosen as compatible after taking personality tests and meeting each other. They are allowed one hiking bag and I carry on pack. Each group of seven will start their own ministries.
Beginning in Ecuador, Ellis will travel to Peru, Bolivia, Romania, Ukraine, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia on her 11-month odyssey.
If you would like to know more or would like to donate to Ellis’ adventure, her blog site is www.ChelseaElllis.theworldrace.org.